Gold Phoenix Takes it on the Turf in Eddie Read

July 31, 2023

Gold Phoenix. (Eddie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

D’Amato Runs 1,2,3,4 in the Turf Stakes

Del Mar Press Release

DEL MAR, Calif.—Trainer Phil D’Amato is always good when it comes to a stakes race on the grass, especially at Del Mar. But the five-time shore training champ outdid himself Sunday at turf and surf central when he saddled the first four finishers in the $252,000 Eddie Read Stakes, a Grade II turfer that went at a mile and one-eighth.

Leading the D’Amato parade was a chestnut gelding named Gold Phoenix, who is owned by the partnership of Little Red Feather Racing, Sterling Stables and Marsha Naify. Hot-riding Hector Berrios was aboard the Irish-bred son of Belardo as he cruised to a three-quarter length triumph in 1:48.62. The winner paid $11 and picked up a first-place purse of $150,000 to push his career earnings to $837,757.

Next in line came Little Red Feather, Madaket Stables and Old Bones Racing Stable’s Balnikhov, who had a half-length on Rockingham Ranch’s Masteroffoxhounds. The fourth D’Amato runner was the race favorite, Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm’s veteran Count Again, who went off at 9-5 and finished two and a quarter lengths behind the winner.

Del Mar veteran observers could not recall another occurrence at the track where one trainer saddled the first four finishers in a major stakes race.  

This was D’Amato’s fourth victory in the Eddie Read. It was rider Berrios’s first.

D’Amato took over the lead in the trainers’ race with three wins on the day to total nine firsts through the first seven days of racing. Berrios also won three races on the afternoon and moved into a tie with Juan Hernandez with 11 victories apiece.

In the track’s popular Pick Six, which was run today under “mandatory payout” conditions, bettors poured in $3,057,176 into the pool that pushed the total prize to $3,441,665.  

When the 11th and final race on the day was run, the numbers said there were 171 winners who picked all six and each of them picked up a payout of $15,915.

Racing will resume at Del Mar on Thursday with a first post of 2 p.m.

An amazing article. Well done @jonathanstettin #ruffian…

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